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The cylinder recordings available here are an online project started in 1998 by Norman Bruderhofer, a phonograph collector and audio preservationist from Germany. Dedicated to the invention and development of the phonograph, the Cylinder Archive serves as a detailed source of information for hobbyists. One component of Bruderhofer's project is a monthly release of a new cylinder recording. The releases are produced by carefully filtering electronic transfers from the original cylinder recording. Altogether, these recordings provide a syllabus of recorded sound that ranges roughly from the 1890s to the 1920s.
The easiest and most entertaining way to learn about the heritage of recorded music is to tap the primary sources themselves, the original recordings, which provide an open time window that was kept closed for a century.
For more information on the Cylinder Archive, go to http://www.cylinder.de/